Functional Medicine

There are 3 facets of life - Body, Mind and Spirit.

Body: I call this the 'hardware'. It is composed of the food we eat. Biochemical reactions within the body make life possible. Symptoms develop when these biochemical mechanisms are compromised. These mechanisms are constantly affected by our lifestyle/environment, genetic and psychological states. Because of built in redundancies within the body, most often the symptoms develop months to years after a biochemical mechanism is compromised.

Modern medicine treats the symptoms by altering the function of certain enzymes without necessarily correcting the underlying biochemical process i.e. taking out the fire alarm, rather than stop the fire.

Mind: Mind exists as "neural electrical transmissions" within the brain. I call this the 'software' that requires a healthy hardware (i.e. Brain) to run properly. Therefore psychological symptoms could develop not only from certain events in our life but also from inadequate nutrition or a mix of both. Modern medicine regards the psychological symptoms as a 'hardware' issue and therefore treats with medications that alter the function of certain enzymes - i.e tries to solve a software problem by trying to temporarily re-route the hardware. Purely a nutritional approach does the same thing. Counselling/CBT tries to address the problem by giving strategies to focus on something different. Both these approaches can and do mitigate the problems of the mind but may or may not solve it.

Mind is the driver of who we are, our desires, motivations, expectations, perceptions and also our diseases (via inappropriate lifestyle choices or via chemical messengers/hormones, etc). Mind is also the birthplace of fear usually from a thought that a desired outcome may not happen - this sometimes compels us to fear based remedial reactions (sometimes mistaken as desires/motivations). We start building up an image of ourselves and our motivations/desires/expectations/fears etc from our own experiences in childhood, with inputs from our parents, extended family, peers, social/mass media. 

Spirit: This is the essence of who we are - the joy inside all of us. Spirit only knows joy and love. It does not know fear. When we come from Spirit, there is no fear of failure, only 'love for the work'.

Modern medicine does not understand this side of us at all.

Our body is in a state of balance with the environment, both internal and external.

External environment is composed of the environment we live in, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the toxins we are exposed to, etc. This is the “Lifestyle”.

Internal environment consists of blood, tissue fluids, minerals, vitamins within the body system. It also consists of our psychological states - the driving factors behind our decisions e.g. what we eat/drink (and why those foods), where we live, etc.

Gut is the major site where the external and internal environment harmonize and balance each other. This balancing includes not only the material side (e.g. nutritious food) but also the psychological side (e.g. comfort eating for anxiety)

We can change both the internal and external environment with appropriate guidance.

Also note that not many diseases have only genetic control. In fact, it is estimated that of all the so called genetic diseases, only 2% have purely a genetic cause, and even in these 2% cases, quality of life can be improved with lifestyle control. The rest 98% actually have multi-factorial causes, the most important cause is the environment (i.e. lifestyle). Also remember, we not only inherit genes from our parents, we inherit diet/lifestyle patterns, coping strategies (e.g. to stress) from our parents too. We love the food we grew up with. This completes the whole circle – we get genes and also lifestyle from our parents. We can change our lifestyle and thereby can change whether we will get a disease or not.

Most of my work involves taking detailed history, assessing lifestyle, mapping personal timelines to ascertain when the mechanism(s) started to come under pressure. Knowing this, we can reverse the changes and the body heals itself over time. Healing usually starts the minute patient walks in the consulting room - taking a detailed history and connecting the dots as we go along can elucidate the 'light bulb' moment when something becomes clear. Sometimes, nothing more is required. At other times, I will advice alternative therapies e.g herbal medicines, hypnosis, energy healing, ayurveda, homeopathy, acupuncture, etc. If required, I will continue mainstream medications until such time when the body has healed enough and no longer requires them.

My goal is to help you understand and heal the underlying biochemical and psychological cause so that symptoms do not develop in the first place.

I have listed some common conditions below:

 

Immunity
Making Immune System Stronger
Autoimmune Disease
Diabetes
Mental Health
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Nutritional Deficiency
Show More
 

Immunity

In these present days, especially with the corona virus pandemic, developing immunity has become the number one priority for all of us. Many of us have taken to vitamin supplements to boost our immunity. Although well intentioned, this may not always work. We need to find out if there is anything that may be keeping our immune system down and, if so, develop an individualistic approach to boost our immunity.

Immunity is the body's defense system inside all of us.

At one level, Immunity is responsible for eliminating the rogue cells (e.g. pre-cancer or cancer cells) & alien cells (e.g. bacteria/viruses). At another level, immunity gone awry can start attacking its own body (e.g Autoimmune diseases) or become super-sensitive to everyday things (e.g. allergy). Therefore, defective immune system can not only increase risk of infections, but also allergies, autoimmune diseases and cancers (that is how stress could lead to cancers).

Read more at my blog ...

Go Back

strong immune-system-kicks-virus.jpg
 

Autoimmune Diseases

I group all autoimmune disorders together. The type of disease that manifests depends on the type of antibody that develops. The underlying problem (i.e the tendency for the body to produce antibody that mimics its own tissues) is the same. The name of the disease is given depending on where the damage is happening:

  • Thyroid – Hashimoto’s disease

  • Pancreas – Type 1 Diabetes

  • Joints – Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Soft tissues – Lupus

  • etc

Certain environmental stimuli / exposures are almost certainly responsible. If it was purely a genetic cause, I would expect the antibody to be present since birth.

There can be different environmental stimuli (or a combination of them) for different types of antibodies and therefore different disease presentation.

Environmental stimuli could be

  • External: e.g  Medicines, Toxins, Pesticides, Pollution

  • Internal: e.g Stress, anxiety.

Both are intricately linked to each other. Stress changes our behavior and we may gravitate towards foods which may contain toxins and vice versa.

Moreover, both internal and external environment changes the way our body metabolizes food.

During my assessment, I will work through your timeline and lifestyle (to look for specific exposures). Both conventional and herbal medicines may be used to control symptoms whilst I work on your health.

Go Back

 

Diabetes

There are mainly 2 types of Diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease (Pls refer above - "Autoimmune diseases")

Type 2 Diabetes is what I will be elaborating here.

When we eat our blood sugar levels starts to rise. Insulin is then released from pancreas in an attempt to drive the excess blood sugar into our cells. The cells then burn the sugar to generate energy. Any excess sugar is changed to fat, and either stored within the cell or transported out as cholesterol.

Metabolic mechanisms could come under pressure and potentially fail at any of the above steps. These failures start to become visible on the blood test panels long before diabetes develops - a sign that the body has started to compensate for these mechanism failures. When the body cannot compensate anymore, Diabetes develops.

The best time to intervene is early in the process because results are quick and lasting. However, it is never too late to address the issue. I have been able to help (and stop insulin) even in people who have severe diabetes.

The added benefit of this approach is that related medical conditions like high cholesterol, high BP, mental fogginess, low thyroid hormone may also improve.

Go Back

 

Mental Health

Chemical imbalance hypothesis has been used to explain depression/anxiety and justify the use of anti-depressants to increase serotonin in the brain. This is the same as saying that I have a deficiency of alcohol or sugar in my body because I feel more happier after having alcohol or sweets. This hypothesis is not true.

As noted above, the Mind exists as "neural electrical transmissions" within the brain. I call this the 'software' that requires a healthy hardware (i.e. Brain) to run properly.

 

In reality, psychological symptoms develop due to a complex interplay between external & internal environment, previous or current stressful events, expectations, desires, medical illnesses, nutrition imbalances, toxins, etc.

Anti-depressants increase serotonin in *all* areas of the body (including gut and brain). This triggers not only side effects but the body (including the brain) also starts to down-regulate the number of receptors, thus creating a new balance and also making the medication eventually ineffective. Coming off the medication will now be even harder because the brain does not have the necessary number of receptors to work effectively without medication - i.e. the person becomes drug dependent.

As part of the work up, I will initially perform a thorough assessment of lifestyle, nutrition, medical diagnoses and timeline of important life events and then suggest appropriate management.

Go Back

 
 

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS or ME) is a name given to a collection of symptoms. Diagnosis is by exlusion and usually requires that patient has had unexplained fatigue for over six months

- Fatigue often worsens with activity (inability to exercise), but doesn't improve with rest.
- Muscles/Joints: Joint or muscle aches, Muscle weakness
- Brain: Confusion, Forgetfulness, Lack of concentration, Headache, Increased sensitivity to pain
- Mood: anxiety or depression, stress
- Sleep: excessive sleepiness or sleep disturbances
- Other organs: metabolic dysfunction in various organs as a result of primary problem or due to poor activity or diet

 

Modern medicine has no cure for this condition.

 

It often starts as fatigue, but then morphs into a complex syndrome with many different organ involvement because of the various causes exerting an incremental metabolic effect.

As part of work up, I will take a detailed history, map the timeline of events to try to ascertain the origin and possibly the cause. Often blood tests are required to rule out potential other causes.

Go Back

CFS photo.png

Nutritional Deficiencies

Nutritional deficiencies may appear straightforward initially. Replacing vitamins/minerals will help symptoms (and are certainly recommended to overcome the deficiency). Holistic health is much more than just nutritional replacement. It is about finding out the cause of the deficiency.

Is there a gut problem preventing digestion and absorption, or perhaps we need to assess our motivations behind choosing certain foods? It is also possible we are combining foods that should not be combined together or the body is using much more of a particular vitamin/mineral to overcome a problem somewhere else.

Go Back

 
 

12/345 Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Thirroul NSW 2515

reception@thirroulholistic.com

Tel: 02 4288 0833

  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Instagram Icon

© 2020 by Thirroul Holistic Medical Centre